Desperate appeal from Bolivia to combat dengue epidemic
February 13, 2009 - MercoPress

The Bolivian government appealed for international economic aid and fumigation equipments to fight the mosquito transmitted dengue epidemics which broke out at the beginning of the year and already has 17.371 reported cases.

Juan Carlos Arraya, head of the Epidemics Department said that two million US dollars and 500 fumigation equipments are urgently needed to address the sanitary emergency triggered by the worst dengue outbreak in a decade.

The Bolivian government has already advanced 1.2 million US dollars and the Andean Community another 1.1 million; however according to Arraya the main problem is the lack of fumigation equipment to combat the larvae in stagnant waters.

Bolivian authorities fear that the number of cases could easily balloon to 50.000 by next March, including 500 of the haemorrhagic variance which has a very high death rate.

"We are making all possible efforts to cut the transmission chain in the coming two weeks so we don"t reach 50.000 cases and the climbing curve begins to flatten", insisted Arraya. The rainy season should be over by next April.

Government personnel, military staff and volunteers have been fumigating potential sources of larvae breeding in stagnant water deposits, "but we"re short of equipments and the census shows that three out of ten homes in the worst areas are a potentially breeding ground for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito".

The soft version of dengue causes fever, head aches, vomiting, skin eruptions and patients feel as undergoing an extreme case of flu.

But the haemorrhagic dengue can be fatal if not treated on time. So far six deaths have been reported from the deadly strain with two more suspect cases.